Anger at blocked drains causing danger driving

Colin Clapp at his farmhouse in Metcombe. He and wife Lynne are angry the drains have not been unblocked, leading to flooding and icy conditions on the road outside their farm.

Colin Clapp at his farmhouse in Metcombe. He and wife Lynne are angry the drains have not been unblocked, leading to flooding and icy conditions on the road outside their farm.

Archant

A couple near Tipton are angry that the ‘dangerous’ road outside their home hasn’t been fixed by the council – more than three weeks after they reported blocked drains.

Colin and Lynne Clapp said a stretch of Brookvale in Metcombe, which has been under water since the floods in late November, has now started freezing over – almost causing a bus to crash on Tuesday.

The farmers are so worried about the icy conditions they put up their own signs warning people it was dangerous.

But even so they said that several vehicles skidded round the corner and a woman was injured coming off her bicycle.

Colin, 66, said the problem is that several drains by their house are still blocked, meaning the water has been stuck on Brookvale for weeks.

His wife Lynne, 63, said: “I rang [the county council] on November 20 to complain about the drains needing to be unblocked, before the flooding. And now, three weeks later, it still hasn’t been done. It’s unacceptable.

“A man from the highways department came round last Tuesday and said the ‘drains needed to be blasted’. But since then nothing has happened – it’s not good enough.”

The couple, who married in 1968 and have been living at Metcombe Green opposite the family farm ever since, were nearly flooded when severe weather hit East Devon on November 24, and said the blocked drains made the situation worse.

Colin, who has lived in Metcombe all his life, said it was “sheer neglect” of the drains by Devon County Council (DCC).

He added that it was a ‘false economy’ not to spend money on unblocking drains and other remedial work, as it costs far more to fix roads ruined by flooding.

DCC’s cabinet member for highways, Stuart Hughes, said he was pushing for officers to unblock the drains, but said the Clapps’ situation was one of around 1,800 outstanding issues in the county from last month’s flooding.

He said the council have to prioritise the A roads and B roads first, but hoped to have the Metcombe drains cleaned as soon as possibe.


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